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Considerate Monsieur Boiret

By Thomas Edgelow

THE train from Genoa was late, two hours or more to be exact, as it shrieked and whistled its noisy way through the environs of Paris. Those few of the passengers who had sat the whole way in the dusty upholstered carriages stretched themselves in luxurious anticipation of the baths and cool hotel bedrooms that awaited them.

Margaret Hobart, radiant despite the dust in her eighteen-year-old freshness and beauty, yawned noisily and unrestrainedly in the reserved first-class carriage which she shared with her chaperon and companion, Mrs. Fromingham.

"Good Heavens, how tired I am!" Margaret exclaimed with that characteristic of youth which always seeks expression of the feeling that is uppermost in the mind.

"My dear," remarked the older lady, with a shade of reproof in her tone, "how often am I to tell you not to express yourself so forcibly? I, too, am fatigued, but you do not see me stretching my legs all across the carriage like that."

Mrs. Fromingham blushed delicately, a mid- Victorian trait which the noise and bustle of the twentieth century had failed to stamp out in her, as she mentioned the possibility of owning such commodities as legs.

"Now, don't be cross, Fromie darling," pleaded Margaret, fixing her dark eyes quizzically on the older woman. "You know that Edgar always urges me, above everything else, to give myself expression."

Mrs. Fromingham shook a reproving head.

"Because your father permits you to address him as Edgar to his face, I do not see that you should so refer to him in his absence. Also, you must remember that so great an artist as your dear father is permitted by the world to be a little, shall I say—a little eccentric?"

"Oh, Fromie, you are too delicious!" Margaret gurgled irrepressibly. "Think of a man who absolutely refuses to wear anything but pajamas unless he is going out, being called eccentric!"

"All the same, my dear," Mrs. Fromingham continued, inwardly horrified at the mention of such garments, "your father pays me certain emoluments for the duties that are my pleasure to perform, chief among which I place that of inoculating you with the principal characteristics of a gentlewoman's deportment. But really, my dear Margaret, I cannot express to you how badly my head aches."

"Oh, what a poor old Fromie!" Margaret was ins...

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